The two men who stormed the Dancing With The Stars stage Monday night did so to protest Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte after “he embarrassed Americans on the world stage.”
“We didn’t agree with Walt Disney Company choosing Lochte to represent Americans,” 25-year-old Barzeen Soroudi told reporters after being released from jail Tuesday. “Yes, he did receive gold medals, but what he did in Rio did not represent Americans well.”
Lochte claimed he and a group of other American swimmers were robbed at gunpoint while in Rio for the 2016 Olympics last month. However, after a few days, he apologized and admitted he lied to cover up how the group trashed a gas station late at night. Soroudi, who said he was at the Olympics, said the aftermath of Lochte’s accusations made Brazilians feel “insulted, and it became very difficult for many Americans there.”
When Soroudi and Sam Satoodeh, 59, ran on stage, they were tackled by security. Satoodeh did not believe the force was necessary, causing bruises. “I don’t understand why the people over there did that. I was not even going towards Lochte; I was going in a different direction,” he said, alleging security punched him after he was off stage. “Why? He could have come and said, ‘Please get off the stage’ or handled it in a civilized manner.”
Lochte spoke out about the incident Wednesday afternoon, writing he appreciates “the opportunity to be part of the show, and more than ever, I am dedicated to my new family and to working hard to do my best.”
See Soroudi and Satoodeh’s full interview at TMZ.